Latest Tri-forest OHV Rubicon Area OHV Trails map

Here is the latest version of a map that combines the three Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) and the Eldorado National Forest (ENF).

The TNF asked me to include ALL campsites in that section of the forest. Done.

The current TNF MVUM has a mistake. This map corrects that mistake. So this map is now more accurate regarding what trails are out there but not all of the trails listed are currently open. The Richardson Lake Trail is currently closed at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The LTBMU trails do not open until May 30th.

It is the users responsibility to know where they are at all times and to know what trails are currently open to wheeled traffic. Contact the specific forest for details.


LTBMU fails to get ANY grant funding!

Here is an email I received this morning (May 18 @ 9:40am). It appears that the LTBMU has failed to get ANY OHV grant funding from CA State Parks.

Good morning Mr. Barr,

I hope all is well with you.

Walt Saborio forwarded me your email regarding the LTBMU.   Unfortunately, the LTBMU was disqualified for this grant cycle for failure to follow appropriate regulations.  You may contact them if you have questions about their application.

If you have any questions on the program or the grant cycle, please let me know.



From: Saborio, Walt@Parks Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 8:36 AM To: Fernandez, Sixto@Parks Subject: FW: LTBMU grant

LTBMU doesn’t change grant

The Lake Tahoe basin Management unit (LTBMU) wrote a CA State Parks OHV grant for repairing and maintaining a mountain bike trail. There was nothing in the grant for any 4wd trails. The single track mountain bike trail did allow motorcycle use so technically the grant was legal but way off track.

The users commented. In a process where grants usually gets one or two comments, this grant received 16 comments. One was posted under the LEO grant or it would have been 17. All were negative. All wanted more than just the mountain bike trail funded for the 2015 grant cycle.

I just learned that the LTBMU asked CA State parks about adding a “general fund” request to the current mountain bike grant. The LTBMU was told that would not be approved as CA State parks prefers detailed grants for specific projects. The LTBMU did not submit any detailed additions to the mountain bike grant. They did ask for funding to keep the pit toilets open on the shoulder seasons weather permitting.

The LTBMU did not listen to the users. That or they were just lazy and didn’t want to take the time to write out a few specific grant additions. These additions were listed for the LTBMU in the comments of the users: the Sand Pits, Twin Peaks, Rubicon Trail, etc. It can’t take that long to write a request for Twin Peaks: boulders/rock – $5000, equipment to move rock – $10,000; signage – $2000. Or the Rubicon: Hand crew for vegetation along paved road – $2000, signage – $3000, engineering oversight for working with Placer county to maintain rolling dips – $8000.

The LTBMU continues to avoid managing OHV. The LTBMU has a duty to maintain and manage OHV trails regardless if the personal views of the workers there are anti-OHV. The LTBMU continues to claim poverty. They even asked me if any of my clubs would have funds available to purchase signs for the trails! The LTBMU is obligated to properly manage OHV regardless of their funding woes. And when the LTBMU knows the views of the users and the needs of the OHV trails and fails to write a grant to fully fund the proper and professional management of those trails, they have failed as managers.

The problem with the LTBMU failing as managers is that we may lose trails. I continued to point out that the Eldorado National Forest had 42 trails closed as the result of a lawsuit, only because those trails were not regularly maintained. The LTBMU’s management game of “whack-a-mole” is reactionary. We need to become pro-active about OHV management in our forests, not just the LTBMU.

I’m not sure of the direction I think we should take on this issue. I will make an effort to sit down with the head ranger, Jeff Marsolas, to make sure THE boss knows of our OHV concerns. If you have any thoughts on how we can ‘motivate’ the LTBMU to more properly and professionally manage OHV, please let me know.

Adopt-A-Campsite is official!

Last week I stopped by the Truckee District office of the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) to meet with Susanne Jensen, the OHV Recreation Specialist. I was going to discuss the status of the campsites I was trying to get adopted and a few of the side trails off the Rubicon. She presented me with the finalized paperwork making the Adopt-A-Campsite program official.

Susanne asked me to be the liaison for any club/group/business/individual wanting to Adopt-A-Campsite. So far we have four camps adopted. Observation is still available. There are many camps off the side trails off the Rubicon. I’m currently working to get them added to my ‘Rubicon Area OHV Trails’ map. These are off the beaten path and very quite places to spend a night.

Please contact me if you are interested in an adoption. It a very small commitment. Currently the TNF is asking for a minimum of two visits a season to clean and maintain the area.

Another maintenance day on the trail…

Yesterday, I spent six hours on the Rubicon and surrounding trails. It was awesome.

It started with cleaning up my newly adopted campsite on the west end of Miller Lake. Just some general cleaning: moving logs to protect little trees, spreading out the downed tree someone dropped last week so no reason (it was green) and cleaning out the fire pit.

Campsite before, the trees were unprotected and the drive through parking was too wide:


Campsite after, the logs were moved to protect the trees:


There are many more campsite and “short trails” to adopt within the TNF. Please let me know if you are interested in stepping up and adopting one or more.

Also along the trail, I removed the one piece of graffiti that has been visible for years:


It still needs work. I’ll hit it again the next time I’m out.


This is just one of many trees I cut that were across of hindering travel on our OHV trails. This particular one was up 003-004-12, the west Ellis Peak Trail.


I cleared this one and drove up quite a bit more but stopped at a very long snow drift. Being a single vehicle and single occupant, I didn’t want to press my luck.


I headed up Barker Pass Road (FS 003-004) but again had to turn back when I encountered a long snow drift. So, there are still places to challenge yourself with snow wheeling out there. Remember, if you head up 003-004, the gates at the bottom do not open until May 31st. That’s the Sunday after Memorial Weekend.

Go prepared and Tread Lightly!